2.4 THE MOMENT OF DEATH
Inevitably the flesh dies.
Whether from disease, physical trauma, or the
withering decay of age, the body can hold out only so
some point the heart stops, the brain ceases to
function, and perception ends.
There is no real pain in death. Indeed their may be a great deal of suffering in the moments
proceeding the final breath, but at the end the soul is
cut off from external stimulation and retreats into the
contemplative essence of itself.
A sense of relief and of a great weight being
lifted away is often what this soul feels. In these moments, the soul often reflects on the lessons (if
any) it has learned through life, and it clings to the
cherished memories of the past.
Sometimes, the pull of loved ones
or the driving goal to accomplish an unfulfilled dream
is enough for the soul to rebel against death.
It attempts to spark the engine of life once
more, as it did the first time it was introduced into
the body. If
the flesh is still strong enough to receive this spark,
life resumes. This
is a rare occurrence, and these near-death experiences
often leave the physical form with a greater sense of
purpose and a better understanding of the wondrous
nature of the universe.
The soul does not immediately leave
its vessel at the moment of death.
It remains trapped by the emptiness within, no
longer able to experience the material world around it.
Help is needed for the soul to be free and to
drift to its natural place in the afterlife.
This help comes in the form of psychopomps.
The duty of the psycopomp is to
search out the recently dead and liberate their souls.
All angels of this order have the ability to
sense all dead children of clay who are nearby.
The range of this power is determined by their
More information on the roll of psychopomps can
be found in the original sourcebook.
Things can go wrong, though. Sometimes the soul will get trapped on Earth and become a ghost. Other times, no psycopomp comes to free it from it prison and the flesh reanimates as one of the walking dead. These issues will be discussed later.